I passed this book up the first time I saw it. A few weeks later I ran across it again (on sale), and couldn’t resist. Isn’t the cover gorgeous!
Title: Thief: The Scarab Beetle Series: #1 (The Academy)
Author: C. L. Stone
Genre: New Adult
Publisher: Arcato Publishing
Release date: February 2014
Kayli Winchester is a dirt-poor girl living out of a hotel, forced to be the parent for a drunken father and teenage brother who she’s desperate to keep in school. The only way she scrapes by is to utilize her one skill: pickpocketing. But even though she’s a thief she has a moral code: no kids or old ladies, only targets who can defend themselves. Not that they see her coming…
Thinking she’s been working under the radar, Kayli has no idea The Academy has been watching and taking notice. Now a team that needs her skill has offered her a way out of her predicament and it’s her last chance: work with them, or face jail time. Kayli resists at first, but slowly the boys reveal they can be trusted. With Marc, the straight man, Raven, the bad-boy Russian, Corey and Brandon the twins as different as night and day, and Axel their stoic leader, there’s a lot Kayli can learn from these Academy guys about living on the edge of the law. If only she can stay on the good side instead of the bad.
Especially when the job they offer her is more than any of them bargained for. After it’s done, the hunters have become the hunted and their target is now after Kayli. The Academy boys do their best to keep her hidden, but a thief like Kayli will never sit still for long.
Kayli will do whatever it took to protect her bother, even if it meant stealing. Security was baffled by a thief who only stole a few dollars and then left the wallet where it could be found. It also came to the attention of the Academy.
It didn’t take Kayli long to notice something was amiss when she entered the mall, but it didn’t matter. She needed money, or she and her brother would be living on the streets. So when she lifted a wallet, intending to only grab a few bills, she’s caught in the act. Thinking quick on her feet, she managed to ditch they guys. Unfortunately, they knew more about her than she could’ve ever imagined. They busted her and gave her a choice…come work for them or go to jail.
I’ll start off to say that I have not read any previous books in the series…or should I say the parallel series? And for most of the book, that wasn’t a problem, but it did leave one big unanswered question. What exactly is the Academy? It was never answered. I went back and forth between whether or not I actually liked Kayli. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a great character, I love her spunk and her inteligence, but I became very uncomfortable the way she flirted with all the guys (even the bad guy). It just didn’t work for me, and all I can think about was how she was going to ruing this unique group of men. Speaking of guys…yum! I liked them all so much, I’m not sure I could pick out my favorite.
I loved all the characters. They were so unique and individual, I could easily envision them as real people. The only other thing that I never understood was why did they insist that Kayli needed to be the one to pull off the job? They apparently have a whole school of people who does the same thing (and with more experience), so why did they need her? Despite all the problems and inconsistencies, I thoroughly enjoyed myself! The book ended on a slight cliff-hanger, meaning the main mystery was solved, but a new one had started. I hate being left in the middle of action, so this type of ending was perfect for me. I’ll definitely be reading more.